And the hits just keep on coming for the Gopher Campus Motor Lodge.
Thieves stole the motel’s symbolic replica of the old Goldie Gopher on Friday. The 29-foot gopher-on-a-pole was laying on the ground near the motel at 924 Fourth St. S.E. after attempts to steal the icon on Thursday failed.
And all of this happened just after Minneapolis police officers ravaged the motel in a drug raid Wednesday night, arresting five people.
“We’re having all kinds of fun around here,” said manager Roman Sowada.
Sowada is unsure how the gopher grabbers managed to haul the 500- to 600-pound rodent statue.
He said he doesn’t have any leads in the case.
“I think it’s a local thing, but I can’t point fingers,” Sowada said.
He added that it could be fraternity members because they have tried the feat before.
Larry Hopfenspirger, part-owner of the motel, said he is very disappointed about the missing gopher.
“It’s part of our trademark and the culture of the campus,” Hopfenspirger said. “We hope the people who took it would return it. We wouldn’t ask any questions or press any charges. We just want it back.”
In other police news:
ù A University student spewed terroristic threats toward a Frontier Hall resident assistant last weekend.
According to police reports, hall resident Todd Michael Costain was drinking with some friends Saturday night in his room when the party was broken up by resident assistant Todd Ladwig.
Ladwig confiscated bottles of Southern Comfort and Bacardi. Costain said he wasn’t in the room when Ladwig entered.
According to reports, Costain later became angry and went looking for Ladwig. He went to the front desk and told the desk attendant “Todd (Ladwig) is a dead man.”
Costain also found resident assistant John Cary and threatened to kill Ladwig. But Costain said it was just a phrase.
“It had no intention behind it,” Costain said. “I didn’t mean any harm.”
Costain said he has apologized to Ladwig and everything seems to be all right between them.
Costain originally was charged with fifth-degree assault, but University Police Sgt. Jo Anne Benson dropped the charge to disorderly conduct.
“It’s because the threat was made to a second party,” Benson said. “You can’t assault someone through someone else.”
ù Winning a national award for helping sexual assault victims apparently does not impress everyone.
On April 22, the Program Against Sexual Violence received the 1998 Crime Victim Service Award from the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. That night, an unidentified person vandalized a Nicholson Hall display case used by the group.
The person inserted slips of paper into the case which read, “This is sexist,” and “This is propaganda.” The program displays pamphlets on assault scenarios and prevention in the case.
But program officials say the scenarios are worded in gender neutral language.
“It feels to me like this is a backlash,” said Susanne Short, assistant director for the program.
Jenny Ryan, a women’s studies senior who also works at the Minnesota Women’s Center across the hall from the display case, said the cases cannot be locked.
“It’s not good when a student comes up the stairs looking for help and this is what they see,” Ryan said.
Ryan said this type of vandalism has happened to the women’s center before. People have scrawled offensive material on Minnesota Women’s Center pamphlets outside the office.
Ryan said she actually saw someone vandalizing once. She said she saw the man writing on a pamphlet but when she got closer, he ran away.
“People don’t want to deal with the fact that men perpetrate most assaults,” Short said. “And that’s not a sexist statement.”
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Police said there are no suspects.
ù Armed with 4-foot bolt-cutters, a man tried to cut open a lock securing a canoe at the Outdoor Store in the St. Paul Student Center.
When the man, 37, failed to break the canoe free, he went inside and tried to rent it, according to University Police reports.
Manager Susan Shroyer said she wouldn’t let him rent the canoe after he told her what he tried to do.
“He said, Oh, I was going to pay for it when I returned it,'” Shroyer said.
Shroyer said people stopped him when they saw him trying to cut the lock.
The man could not be reached for comment.